Present Perfect vs. Present Perfect Continuous


We use the present perfect:

  1. to talk about past experiences when we don’t say when something happened (when the action was finished). Example: I’ve travelled to Brazil many times.
  2. with yet, already, ever, and never. Example: I’ve already finished my homework.
  3. with superlatives and the first, second, the last time, etc. Example: Canada is the most beautiful place I’ve visited.
  4. with non action verbs (= verbs not usually used in the continuous form, for example, be, have, know, like, understand, believe, etc) to say that something started in the past and is still true now. Example: I‘ve known my best friend since we were in high school.
  5. when we say or ask how much/many we have done or how often we have done something up to no (so far). Example: I’ve written 5 essays so far.

We use the present perfect continuous:

  1. with action verbs, to say that an action started in the past and is still happening now. Example: I’ve been writing this article for 2 hours.
  2. this use is common with time expression such as How long …?, for, since, all day/morning/afternoon/evening/ week, etc. Example: I’ve been studying all morning.
  3. for repeated actions especially with the time expression all day, recently. Example: She’s been cleaning her house all day.
  4. for continuous actions that have just finished (but that have present results). Example: I’ve been doing my homework.

Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐

Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐

Student A -> Complete the question

Student B -> Answer the question

Flip the tile to check if your dialogue was correct

Repeat the dialogue and ask follow-up questions to get more details

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐⭐

  1. Choose a picture (scroll the arrows <> to see the whole picture)
  2. Discuss the following questions with your partner. Give as many details as you can.
  • What has happened?
  • What have they been doing recently? Why?